New documentary traces York’s history

To mark York’s 50th anniversary, OMNI Television has funded a student-led project at York to produce a television documentary titled The Way Must Be Tried: York University Bridging Communities, which traces the history and tradition of York University’s first 50 years. The film will premiere Thursday, Nov. 26, from 3 to 4:30pm at the Price Family Cinema, Accolade East Building. 

“This documentary provides an important legacy of our 50th anniversary celebrations,” says Cynthia Bettcher, project director for York’s 50th anniversary initiatives. “Not only does the work wonderfully encapsulate the history and spirit of York’s first half-century, knowing that York students and alumni directed, shot, wrote, edited and produced the film makes this venture even more important.”

With the help of OMNI Television, a division of Rogers Broadcasting Ltd., through its Independent Producers Initiative, the documentary was produced entirely under the auspices of York University’s Department of Film, with senior undergraduate and graduate students hired to fulfill various creative capacities including director, production manager and post-production supervisor.   

The film traces the history of York University from its birth 50 years ago to its position as Canada’s third-largest university, home to more than 50,000 students representing some 155 different countries. It shows how, over time, the University has grown and changed as much as the community that surrounds it. Once nestled between farmers’ fields and country roads, York now sits in the middle of the Greater Toronto Area, bordered by a diverse community that can both contribute to and benefit from York as an engaged neighbour. The Way Must Be Tried: York University Bridging Communities chronicles and celebrates York’s rise and maturation, exploring the evolving relationship between the University and those surrounding communities.

The production team, those who appear in the documentary and all who were involved in the making of the documentary are participating in the screening, which is co-hosted by the Faculty of Fine Arts, the U50 Office and the Office of University Events & Community Relations. The documentary will air in English, Cantonese, Russian, Hindi, and Italian at a later date on OMNI TV. 

The screening is open to the University community. Those planning to attend should RSVP by Nov. 18. To RSVP, visit the U50 Web site or call 416-736-5020.